The project will create an environment where potential entrepreneurs, with a feasible business idea, will have access to learning/training tools that help them to acquire the skills needed to transform their business idea into a viable business start-up. IT-based business coaching will principally be offered through the project's 'virtual pre-incubator' platform to 'would be' entrepreneurs. The content of the virtual platform will be devised by the project partners, following an analysis of the target groups training needs. A web-based platform will offer a uniform training curriculum, based on eight modules, and will be maintained by one project partner with national sections also being created to host country-specific information. The modules will be offered either as ‘foundation’ or ‘advanced’ level training depending on each user's capabilities. In its first stage, the virtual platform will initially offer e-coaching/training to all potential entrepreneurs. In its second stage, the platform will expose a select group of entrepreneurs to business incubators (firms offering support to start-up businesses). The virtual incubator platform will provide users with a range of training options, including virtual classrooms and a bibliography database. Through the project partners, the platform will be supported by training material and information in CD-Rom and printed format. Study tours will also be organised for entrepreneurs to familiarise them with the operation of business incubation. Training material, including the virtual platform, will be tested through pilot courses in one of the partner countries. The final product, including the web-based platform and other materials, will be available in four languages. Potential individual users and 'multipliers' in key sectors will be carefully targeted to disseminate the project's final product. Seminars, publications and the project website will play key roles in the dissemination process.
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